AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - After recent buzz surrounding hand washing, Doctors Hospital doctors spoke out about the difference hand washing can make, especially during flu season.

According to doctors, a staggering 80% of infections are spread by touch. Dr. Thomas Zickgraf, Emergency Room Medical Director at Doctors Hospital, said besides getting vaccinated, the second most important thing you can do to prevent getting the flu or any other infection is washing your hands.

One in five people do not wash their hands and of those that do hand wash, only 30-percent use soap. Dr. Zickgraf said those alarming statistics coupled with the rise in flu cases being seen in Doctors Hospital’s emergency rooms is a big concern.

In addition to practicing good hand washing, it’s important to be aware of the everyday use items that host the most bacteria including purses, TV remotes, cutting boards and toilet seats. More than half of the population do not wash their hands after using public transportation, shared exercise equipment or handling money. 39-percent of the population do not wash their hands after sneezing, coughing or blowing their nose.

Dr. Zickgraf’s recommendation is wash your hands as often as possible and encourage your children to wash their hands throughout the day while at school to help prevent the spread of infection this flu season.

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